Decision Ready Claim

The VA Claim Process is now faster with the Decision Ready Claim Program. The DRC Program allows you to get a decision on your disability claim within 30 days after submittal. Check out these five simple steps for filing a DRC. For more information, go to www.benefits.va.gov/drc.

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Army and Air Force Exchange Service

In the six months since the Army & Air Force Exchange Service officially expanded online shopping privileges to all honorably discharged Veterans, more than 50,000 former service members have used the new benefit, saving an average of 20 percent off MSRP and avoiding a total of $3 million in sales tax so far.

“With the national average sales tax being 8.5 percent, the Veterans online shopping benefit offers significant savings to all who raised their right hand and took an oath to defend our Nation—no matter how long they served,” said Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran who worked tirelessly to secure the change in Department of Defense policy after joining the Exchange in 2012. “This benefit is a modest way to thank all who have served and welcome them home.”

The Veterans online shopping benefit, which launched on Veterans Day 2017, marked the first expansion of military exchange privileges since 1990. Veterans have used their new benefit to order nearly 500,000 items at ShopMyExchange.com—tax-free.

On ShopMyExchange.com, Veterans find a wide assortment of national-brand at an average savings of 20 percent off MSRP. Shopping the Exchange online reconnects Veterans with their military community, allowing them to remain Soldiers and Airmen for life.

Dan Sacco, a Vietnam Veteran who lives in Trumbull, Conn., had been without an Exchange benefit for nearly 50 years, after leaving the Army in 1970. When he shops with ShopMyExchange.com, he knows he is making a difference to service members and their families.

“This is an incredible benefit to offer,” said Sacco, who has shopped ShopMyExchange.com for electronics, clothing, gifts and more. “There’s no taxes, no shipping charges with a MILITARY STAR card, and it supports the military. It’s better than Amazon. There’s no negative.”

Every purchase Veterans make online improves life for service members and their families as 100 percent of Exchange earnings support programs including military uniforms at cost; school lunches below cost for Warfighters’ children overseas; Child Development Centers; Youth Programs; Fitness Centers; and career opportunities for spouses, Veterans and Wounded Warriors. In the last decade years, the Exchange has distributed more than $2.4 billion to critical military Quality-of-Life programs.

To verify eligibility and begin shopping, Veterans can visit ShopMyExchange.com\veterans or VetVerify.org.

Facebook-friendly version: In the six months since the Army & Air Force Exchange Service officially expanded online shopping privileges to all honorably discharged Veterans, more than 50,000 former service members have used the new benefit, saving an average of 20 percent off MSRP and avoiding a total of $3 million in sales tax so far. Read more: https://bit.ly/2rRsSOQ

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Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 56th-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.4 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Julie Mitchell, 214-312-3327 or mitchelljul@aafes.com.

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05.17.2018
Story by Julie Mitchell
Army & Air Force Exchange Service HQ


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Vet Center Program

The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Vet Center Programs are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In April 1991, in response to the Persian Gulf War, Congress extended the eligibility to veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities after the Vietnam era. Those other periods are identified as Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Kosovo/Bosnia.
In October 1996, Congress extended the eligibility to include WWII and Korean Combat Veterans. The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. On April 1, 2003 the Secretary of Veterans Affairs extended eligibility for Vet Center Program services to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and on June 25, 2003 Vet Center eligibility was extended to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).
The family members of all veterans listed above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. On August 5, 2003 VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi authorized Vet Centers to furnish bereavement counseling services to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty, to include federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.

ELIGIBILITY:

Any Veterans and active duty Service members, to include members of the National Guard and Reserve components, who:

Have served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility*
Experienced a military sexual trauma;
Provided direct emergent medical care or mortuary services, while serving on active military duty, to the casualties of war, or;
Served as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat zone or area of hostility.
Vietnam Era veterans who have accessed care at a Vet Center prior to January 1, 2004

Vet Center services are also provided to family members of Veterans and Service members for military related issues when it is found aid in the readjustment of those that have served. This includes bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death.

CLICK HERE to learn how the Vet Center Program can help you.

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Paralyzed Veterans Of America

Paralyzed Veterans of America, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members – veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction.

Paralyzed Veterans of America will use that expertise to be the leading advocate for:

Quality health care for our members
Research and education addressing spinal cord injury and dysfunction
Benefits available as a result of our members’ military service
Civil rights and opportunities that maximize the independence of our members.

To enable Paralyzed Veterans to continue to honor this commitment, we must recruit and retain members who have the experience, energy, dedication, and passion necessary to manage the organization and ensure adequate resources to sustain the programs essential for Paralyzed Veterans of America to achieve its mission.

Since 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America has been on a mission to change lives and build brighter futures for our seriously injured heroes. We’ve had a single-minded mission—to empower our brave men and women to regain what they fought for: their freedom and independence.
Paralyzed Veterans was originally founded by a band of service members who came home from World War II with spinal cord injuries. They returned to a grateful nation, but also to a world with few solutions to the major challenges they faced.
These wounded heroes made a decision not just to live, but to live with dignity as contributors to society. They created Paralyzed Veterans of America, an organization dedicated to serving veterans—and to medical research, advocacy and civil rights for all people with disabilities.

FOLLOW THIS LINK to learn how Paralyzed Veterans Of America can help.

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Friends Of The Soldiers Home

Friends of the Soldiers Home is a 501 (c)(3) organization serving to strengthen the bond between the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington and the surrounding community.
Through service, education and engagement, Friends of the Soldiers Home connects citizens and veterans in a relationship that recognizes the sacrifice of military service and enhances quality of life for veteran and citizen alike.

In November 2011, the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington and surrounding community held a meeting about ending years of neglect in relating to one another.

What blossomed was Friends of the Soldiers Home.

Starting with a Jingo volunteer night in December 2011, Friends went on to partner with the Home to conduct 209 volunteer events through the end of 2016. In 2016 alone, 384 people collectively gave 2,211 hours of volunteer time at 54 events.

Regular events include monthly Jingo, Happy Hour, Saloon Night With Friends and Bowling With Friends. Each spring, the Home and Friends pairs community volunteers with veteran residents to tend vegetable plots together in the Friends Garden Project.

Friends also holds annual community celebrations with the Home, including Spring Fling, which occurs the first Saturday in May, July 4 Fireworks, and Fall Fun Fest, which happens on the first Sunday in October. In December, the Friends and Home residents gather together for the annual holiday tree lighting. Thousands of people from the community attended these events to better connect the residents and historic campus with the surrounding nation’s capital.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Friends Of The Soldiers Home
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